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The Purpose Of The Detecting Lung Cancer Blog

Help create awareness about early detection of Lung Cancer and the effects of smoking and finding lung cancer before symptoms arise by sharing this blog with friends, family and colleagues.

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greg stanley

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Over the last few years, I've had numerous discussions with smokers, former smokers, their loved ones and healthcare providers about the risk factors for lung cancer and the benefit of early detection. I hope sharing my knowledge and many of your stories will help make an impact on this deadly disease.

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Top 10 List | The Top Lung Cancer Symptoms

  
  
  
  

lung cancer symptomsSince there is no widely recognized method of early lung cancer detection, unlike PSA for prostate cancer or mammography for breast cancer, 85% of lung cancer is found symptomatically.

Unfortunately, by the time symptoms are apparent and properly diagnosed, the lung cancer tends to be in an advanced stage—that is one of the reasons why the 5 year survival rate is only 15%, with nearly half of newly diagnosed patients not surviving the first year.

Given the importance of detecting lung cancer early, let’s take a look at a list of the typical symptoms, as reported by MedicineWorld.org.

The symptoms of lung cancer depend upon the site and extent of involvement with the tumor. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are noted below:

#1 Persistent Cough
A persistent cough is an important symptom of lung cancer, but it is also difficult to distinguish a cough associated with lung cancer from a cough associated smoking or chronic lung conditions like COPD. If a patient who had chronic cough shows changes in the pattern of cough, the possibility of lung cancer should be considered—however, a cough in itself is not definitive.

#2 Shortness of breath
Again, shortness of breath associated with lung cancer is difficult to differentiate from the one that is associated with COPD. As mentioned above, a change in one’s pattern of respiratory difficulty should cause concern for the possible development of lung cancer, but it is also is not definitive.

#3 Productive Cough
A productive cough is when some type of secretions come up during coughing, which could be in the form of mucus or blood. If a productive cough—especially one with blood—occurs in a patient with a history of smoking, lung cancer should be suspected and an appropriate work up is to be done to confirm or exclude this possibility.

#4 Pneumonia
Many times lung cancer makes its initial presentation in the form of a newly developed pneumonia. The growing tumor may cause obstruction of the airways, and cause what is called "Post obstructive pneumonia." Patients who develop pneumonia may be advised to get repeat imaging to make sure that all the pneumonia is resolved completely and that no residual opacities are visible.

#5 Fluid in the lungs
Lung cancer may spread to the inner lining or outer covering of the lungs (known as plura), and this may result in the development of fluid accumulation between the lung and the chest wall (plural effusion). Development of plural effusion may result in increased shortness of breath.

#6 Chest pain or tightness in the chest
Lung cancer can infiltrate into the chest wall and may cause pain and/or tightness in the chest. Development of chest pain in a high-risk person should alert the physician to the possibility of lung cancer with chest wall invasion, or plural involvement.

#7 Bone and joint pain
Tumors in the apex (also called pancoast's tumors) of the lung may invade into the surrounding nervous structures causing pain in the shoulders or arms. Tumors in these areas are difficult to be seen on a chest X-ray, hence patients who has symptoms suggestive of pancost's tumors. Tumors infiltrating into the diaphragm may also produce shoulder pain.

#8 Change in the voice
Change in one’s voice pattern (usually hoarseness of voice) can be a symptom of lung cancer. This occurs more commonly with left sided tumors, and happens because of the pressure effect on one of the nerves that comes from the chest to the vocal cord, called the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

#9 Wheezing

Wheezing can be caused by direct, partial obstruction of a large airway by a tumor. This can also result in shortness of breath. However, wheezing can also be caused by many lung conditions, including asthma, infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia, foreign objects that are aspirated (breathed into) the lungs or tumors.

#10 Other symptoms
Lung cancer may cause other symptoms due to pressure effects. Pressure on the esophagus can lead to difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia). Pressure on the superior vena cava that returns blood from the upper part of the body to the heart can lead to a condition called superior vena cava syndrome, which is associated with redness and swelling of the upper part of the body. Tumors close to the heart can infiltrate into the outer covering of the heart called pericardium and may cause accumulation of fluid between the heart and the outer covering of heart (called pericardial effusion).

As this Top 10 list clearly shows, many of these symptoms are not only common for long term smokers, but are non-specific symptoms associated with many maladies.

Given the poor prognosis for most symptomatically detected lung cancer cases—in 50% of diagnosed cases, the patient does not survive the first year—the need for early detection is critical.

According to the NCI, if found early in Stage I or II the 5-year survival triples from 15% to 53%!

To learn more about Oncimmune’s EarlyCDT-Lung, the blood test to aid in the early detection of lung cancer, please visit www.HelloHaveYouHeard.com.

If you are a lung cancer survivor or if you have a loved one who battled lung cancer, visit our Lung Cancer Awareness Wall to memorialize and honor his or her personal fight against lung cancer. 

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Comments

My mother had a pain in her shoulder that kept getting worse. She was treated for arthritis, bursitis and was sent to a neurosurgeon before she had a chest x-ray. She was then referred to an internist who ordered a bone scan and chest x-ray. A tumor was found at the top of the lung which was pressing on bones, tendons and nerves. This also caused half of her face to perspire and the other half would be perfectly dry. There was a third symptom I can't remember. The tumor was deemed inoperable at that time but she was treated with radiation. The immediately got better, but the pain started to come back. She thought it was because she had been numb so long and now she was regaining her feeling in her shoulder. They later found the tumor had spread to her spine. She died in 1986 about 16 months after the pain started in her shoulder.
Posted @ Friday, April 08, 2011 8:12 PM by KellyP
My father smoked all his life. At the age of 75 he began to have some problems, but was retired and an avid golfer, so kept active. He was not a man to go to a Dr. He was NEVER SICK! Finally the pain got really bad, and he thought he had prostrate problems. He made a drs appt. and when he went was told he had inoperable lung cancer that was very agressive and untreatable. He had just cut grass and played golf 2 weeks prior to this news. WITHIN 6 WEEKS HE DIED! The drs did an autopsy at Emory University in Atlanta to look at this fast growing cancer.....(actually...after the fact I found out that he probably had the cancer for 10 yrs prior to discovery and by then it was too late to do anything. i don't smoke myself, however i have lived with a heavy smoker (my father & husband) all my life. I am now 65. Smoking/Nicotine is the most addictive drug in the world. So many people want to stop, but cannot. My husband wants to, but as yet has not. My kids & grandkids do also,,,,WHY I WILL NEVER KNOW WITH THE PRICE OF CIGARETTES TODAY....I PRAY FOR THEM DAILY AS I FEEL THAT ONLY GOD CAN DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM...I FEEL FOR SMOKERS EVEN THO I HAVE NEVER SMOKED AND SMOKE REALLY BOTHERS ME. MAYBE THIS WILL HELP A SMOKER...ESPECIALLY YOUNG ONES...TO THINK TWICE ABOUT SMOKING....CAROL KINGSMORE...SC
Posted @ Wednesday, April 13, 2011 5:57 PM by CAROL VANCE KINGSMORE
My mom also had a pain in her shoulder, arm. For a year I took her to the doctor. They basicly told her there ws nothing wrong with her. Wasn't too long after that in 2001 they found the lung cancer, it was in her left lung. they treated it with chemo and radition. She died in 2004. In 2009 I was diagnosed with lung cancer, they removed my upper right lobe. In February of this year I was told it had returned to my left lung. I'm do for my 3 month CT scan this month. I have been a smoker all my life, on and off. I wish I could go back and do it over, I was 48 when diagnosed...too young. If you are a smoker, quit while you can. 
 
God Bless
Posted @ Tuesday, April 19, 2011 9:43 PM by Rochelle Wetmore
my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer in sept.2010..they removed half of her left lobe,,she had chemo and radaition lost all her hair she is 51,it had went into her lymphnodes..today the Doctor said she was in remission..i thank GOD for it..I pray everyday it stays in remission...I pray for everyone that has cancer and their loved ones..its hard to see them go thru this...
Posted @ Tuesday, May 31, 2011 3:28 PM by Donna Benson
march 1st 2011 doctors removed the top lobe of my right lung. I had missed work and was told i had to have a note to return. My family doctor sent me to have xray. I was just tring to get a note for any reason. Two days later my Dr, called and said i needed to go do a ct scan then a different scan. With in a week they had a bioposay. Needless to say i was a heavy smooker . Removed the part of the lung and so far have not seen any thing that would say it was still there, I had the same x-ray taken 17 months earlier. I did quit smoking with the help of one of the aids, i didnt set a day to quit until the day before i went in to the hosp. Quit day;the day of surgery. Its been 100 days today. its hard but if i can stop any one can
Posted @ Friday, June 10, 2011 5:02 PM by DAVID BROWN
I lost my dad last nov.4th to lung cancer. I was heart broken but at the same time i now know its time to read about lung cancer and be checked for lung cancer. ALL the signs where but like alot of people i didnt anything about it.Today i am going to the doctors more and talking to my family more about being checked.
Posted @ Monday, November 14, 2011 10:21 PM by tabatha vanlandingham/ warren
Cancer has affected my family as it has so many others around the world. I think posts like these are extremely important, since we need to be able to spot the signs as early as possible. Hopefully with advancements in clinical research on cancer treatments, we will able to save many more lives and keep some more families whole.
Posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 11:00 AM by Stephen Trevathan
my grandfather had lung cancer for a long time and he went through all of these simptoms but when they found out he had had lung cancer it was too late
Posted @ Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:43 AM by Jacx Cannistraro
My wife and I both quit smoking 9 months ago. I stop the cough a couple of weeks after stoping. My wife still has the cough. That alone worried the heck out of me. She has been to the Dr., has had high contrast ct scans. No tumors found but, she has been told that she has enfyzema. Now this has me scare to death for her and my heart. We both tried to quit smoking for years but failed. Then we both tried chantix. We both were smoke free the first month. For you that still smoke. The side effects from chantix most likely won't kill you. Rest assure continuing smoking surely will. Chantix will work if you let it. I pray that every person that smokes reading this, will give chantix a try so you can live. It works if you let it work!!!
Posted @ Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6:57 PM by Henry
My brother-in-law died of lung cancer at 66, much to young. He smoked much of his life and left his lovely widow to finish her life alone and lonely. A terrible shame. He was a wonderful person.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:58 PM by Mary
this post is helpful i got all the information and i got some of those sympton but i dont have a doctor what can i do every time i go to the emergency room they dont do nothing i need help it been going on for almost two year. my contact is 484 426 5146.call me if you can help me thanks.
Posted @ Monday, December 17, 2012 10:48 PM by solee
this post is helpful i got all the information and i got some of those sympton but i dont have a doctor what can i do every time i go to the emergency room they dont do nothing i need help it been going on for almost two year. my contact is 484 426 5146.call me if you can help me thanks.
Posted @ Monday, December 17, 2012 10:48 PM by solee
Hello everyone. I appreciate your comments very much. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer over 5 years ago. He had part of his right lung removed and for 2 months had chemo. However, I don't believe that the cancer was totally removed. He continued to cough and the first 2 or 3 pet scans showed a bright spot still on his lung. They didn't do a biopsy at the time and so they couldn't actually prove if it was cancer. They wanted to continue taking pet scans every 4 months but my husband got upset and refused to go back to the doctors. Three years later as he was feeling sick again, he went for a pet scan at my request, and sure enough the cancer was back according to them. I don't believe it ever healed. He went through an agressive treatment which included chemo therapy and radiation. Due to the harsh treatment my husband's developed a hole in his intestine and had to have emergency surgery and he now has an ostomy bag which is actually supposed to be temporary. And so my husband was so sick that he refused anymore radiation therapy, however, after he got out of the hospital, the chemo therapy continued one day a week, every three weeks. Since then he has developed pneumonia twice according to them. He developed a wheezing and is always struggling to breathe. He moves about and even works at his shop. The doctors gave him antibiotics but the wheezing won't go away. I believe that the cancer probably spread to the airways and that is why he continues to wheez. But the doctor insists that it is an infection and that it can be healed. The doctor says that the chemo is working and that the tumor is shrinking but I'm not convinced. He is still wheezing quite a bit even after he finished the antiobiotics, so if he gets worse and worse I will call them and tell them to check further, because it may be the cancer is getting worse. I really don't know but I'm guessing and I do hope that what think is not true. My husband has been battling with this disease longer then most people so I do praise the Lord for still keeping him alive. However, I don't like to see him suffer.
Posted @ Friday, January 25, 2013 7:57 AM by Maria Fraker
Just a year ago this month I was hospitalized with phenomia. I was told by the doctors they saw a suspicious spot on my lungs. I touched the right side of my chest just below my shoulder and said "Right Here?" then they said how do you know? I said that is where it hurts. I asked if it was cancer and they said yes. Then to my surprise I am told no it was a mistake. Prior to the illness I had been coughing up blood for a month or two. While in the hospital they saw the blood and only replied, "we are not surprised".  
 
Well, here it is a year later, still coughing up blood, weak, and slight weight loss. sometimes but not always the pain in my chest is unbearable. I don't know what to do. I am now having episodes of synscope and they have ruled out epilepsy. I wonder if they were wrong when they said I do not have lung cancer and i really do. 
 
My mom and uncle have both lost the battle to lung cancer, I wonder will I be next?
Posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 3:31 PM by Robin Hawks
I lost my Dad on March 21st of this year. A mere 19 months after initial diagnosis of lung cancer. @Robin, please go and demand to be seen by a specialist. My dad had one seizure, my mom called 911, and that was when he was diagnosed. The seizure was caused by low sodium and the low sodium was caused by the lung cancer. Demand a PET scan, and have it looked over by a pulmonary specialist.
Posted @ Friday, May 31, 2013 4:25 PM by Tanya
My mum has lung cancer they said its gone to far but she can have chemo she is 72 had breast cancer twice was taken in hospital for fluid on the lung that was removed then just waiting for a bonenxray how long will she line as my daughter is in Australia until December o I need her to come home sooner
Posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 6:52 PM by Mandy filsell
i quit smoking 5yrs ago in febuary 1st i used shantix it worked really good i am 63 yrs old only problem i have is a kittle phlem and i smoked for 40 yrs the best thing i did was quit people say they cant quit but i did it didnt think i could but i did had 2 best friends die of lung cancer
Posted @ Saturday, July 20, 2013 2:19 PM by iris pagano
Sometimes you need to take your chances and keep things moving forward.
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 12:45 AM by remote control helicopter with camera
"PSA for prostate cancer or mammography for breast cancer, 85% of lung cancer is found symptomatically." 
 
- yeah I do agree with you with this and it's really the best. 
Thanks, how to brush teeth without toothbrush
Posted @ Friday, October 11, 2013 9:28 AM by josephine
during the early signs of lung cancer symptoms then you should at least go to the doctor right away. 
thanks, What is a Root Canal
Posted @ Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:50 AM by Baigail
I smoked off and on for 25 years. one year ago i started getting this nagging feeling in my right arm and then it escalated to a heavy pain in my upper arm and on the inside of my arm and my fingers (ring finger and pinky was always tinkling with prickly feelings. I started having shortness of breath after that. Had two chest xrays then finally a ct scan on my chest. The results showed a touch of empysema there was a strand on my lung but it was not active and not enough to be called a "disease"....so i guess they r waiting for it to turn into a disease. The pain have since stopped and the shortness of breath is more far and in between....so i am hopeful but still seeing Pulmonary doctor
Posted @ Wednesday, October 30, 2013 11:34 PM by wanda mitchell
Actually, I have heard and have seen with lung cancer patients that they have of course that chest pains plus joint pains too and cough. 
Thanks, cna salary
Posted @ Saturday, November 16, 2013 11:43 PM by Melanie
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